My annual holiday baking roundup is back! I hope to have one or two new recipes to add to the roster this year, but thought I’d get the roundup out early in December to help you make your baking plans. I celebrate Christmas, and it’s going to look very different around here in 2020, as we put a new spin on old traditions in order to stay safe during the pandemic. I won’t be gathering with my family, but I can bring them a taste of Christmas by sharing favourite treats made from classic family recipes and new.
This festive time of year always inspires me to bake, although I don’t do so nearly as much as I used to. Still, there’s something about making the recipes that my kids love (or classics like fruitcake that they despise) that just puts me in the holiday spirit. In my case, the holiday is Christmas. Whether you celebrate it or something else, you might be interested in this roundup of 21 recipes from the Urban Cottage kitchen (formerly Life Through the Kitchen Window, as you can see from the watermarks on some of the photos).
I hope this holiday baking recipe roundup inspires you to get baking, even if just a single batch of cookies! (And there’s one no-bake recipe here, in case you don’t want to turn on the oven.)
Celebrate Responsibly in 2020
Usually when I talk about celebrating responsibly, I’m referring to alcohol consumption. However, in 2020 the message is about what we need to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s the thing: I’m willing to forego my usual Christmas gatherings to ensure my family and friends stay healthy and well. And oh yes, me too.
Many of the posts that are linked here mention family gatherings, open houses, and holiday mingles. Just to be clear: they were written in years past and do not refer to how I’ll be celebrating in 2020. Instead, let’s think of those events as what we have to look forward to when we all pull together and conquer the virus.
Please, put safety and public health first this holiday season. What better gift can you give your loved ones and friends?
Let’s Get to Our Holiday Baking Recipe Roundup!
Cookies and Bars
This list is a mix of old favourites and new for my family. I’ve been making some of these recipes since I was a teenager, and others I’ve just discovered or created in the last few years.
- Kermis Tarte — I simply must start by showcasing this old Flemish recipe from Mom. These jam tarts have a unique (and incredibly easy) pastry base made with just three ingredients. They’re not only delicious, but look so festive, no matter what type of jam you use.
- Butter Horns — Oh, these take me back to Mom’s kitchen on snowy December days
- Shortbread Cookies — Top these with sprinkles or coarse sugar for a festive touch
- Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies — Try these with tart dried cranberries sweetened only with apple juice
- Sultry Gingersnaps for Leonard — I first published this recipe in homage to Leonard Cohen; I’ll continue think of him every time I make these cookies now that he’s gone
- Elfin Brownie Bites — These say “Christmas” at my house
- Cherry Coconut Bars — Sweet and festive, and the only time I still use maraschino cherries
- Ginger & Sour Cherry Puffs — Elegant bites with the heat of ginger and tang of sour cherry
- Chocolate Peanut Mounds — I used to make these no-bake treats with my son … happy memories
Meringues are so easy to make and they can add such flair to a festive gathering. Here are two of my recipes best suited to the Christmas season.
- Peppermint Meringues — A sprinkling of red and green sugar makes these look holiday-perfect
- Pomegranate Coconut Meringue Bark — A different take on the traditional merginues
Cheesecake always says special occasion to me, and this recipe is no exception.
- Cranberry Cheesecake — Rich and tangy, and pretty too!
Sweet Rolls and Coffee Cakes
In past years, I often had my family over for a holiday brunch, and one of these recipes was usually on the menu. I’m fortunate that my children all live nearby, so there’s no reason I can’t drop one of these off for them in one of our now-classic outdoor exchanges.
- Pecan Cinnamon Rolls — I let these rise in the fridge overnight, so there’s little effort to serve them warm for brunch the next day
- Pecan Coffee Cake with Cranberry Pecan Topping — Cranberries add a festive touch as well as tanginess
- Apple Cranberry Coffee Cake — What can I say, this recipe is like apple pie on cake
- Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake — Lots of orange flavour married with exotic cardamom
- Cinnamon Loaf Coffee Cake — A basic coffee cake that’s welcome at any occasion
- Applesauce Spice Cake — This Martha Stewart recipe is a true classic for me
- Fruity, Boozy Fruitcake — Some love it, some hate it … I’m in the loving camp, and I love to share fruitcake with others who appreciate it. I may even be a bit of a fruitcake proselytizer … try it, you just might like it!
Two More Holiday Treats
I hope this holiday baking recipe roundup has inspired you to put on your apron, turn on the oven and bake up a storm. If you need a little more inspiration, here are two more treats that you’ll be happy you made. You could enjoy either for breakfast, for coffee with a friend, or as a snack.
- Hazelnut, Sour Cherry & Orange Biscotti — Just the thing with a leisurely cup of coffee, or as a light breakfast
- Pomegranate Pistachio Granola — How festive does that look, especially when made into a stunning parfait with yogourt or chia seed pudding? Why not make a batch for the holidays?
Happy Holiday Baking!
Wishing you happy times in the kitchen during this festive season! Please leave a comment letting me know what you most like to bake for the holidays.
Published 2016 12 11
Republished 2019 12 05
Republished 2020 12 03
thank you for all those receipes. a lot of those are on my list…
Thanks Suzanne, that’s lovely to hear!
What a wonderful round-up. Mar! There’s a little something here for everyone to love. I won’t be doing much baking this holiday season but am definitely pinning this for future use. All of the recipes would be equally delicious no matter when they’re prepared. Thank you so much!
I’m so glad to hear you find my recipes holiday-worthy, John. Like you, I’m not doing a lot of baking this year. That said, I’ve had three events, so I’ve made more than my share. I have several different cookie dough balls in the freezer, plus two kinds of gougeres waiting to be baking off, and the odds and ends of a couple cakes. Less temptation to chow down on it all, and handy for when people drop by (although, in my experience that doesn’t happen as much as it used to …. changing times).
I’ve gained a few pounds scrolling down this blog! Looks yummy!
Lol, I know that feeling! Thanks for checking it out.
MARLENE thank you .wishing you.happy baking also .the tradition is a sugar cookie with jam in the middle with a hole . Brownie my own.date square+ and nuts and bolts .thank you Marlene….
Your traditions sound wonderful, Suzanne. I used to have a date square recipe in this round up, but I took it out because I’ve never made them for Christmas. It’s nice to learn what other people like to make.
I swear I gained 10 pounds eating this and lost 5 salivating! What a fabulous list. Thanks for sharing these amazing recipes!
Thanks so much, Suzanne! You made my day with this comment. Happy holidays!